12/23/09

Oregon gags oppressive employers

Another first-in-the-nation for disgraced labor-state

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Associated Oregon Industries filed a lawsuit Tuesday, arguing that a new Oregon law unconstitutionally eliminates an employer’s right to conduct mandatory meetings with employees to rebut union rhetoric and provide information about the drawbacks of a unionized workplace.

The law, known as SB 519, is scheduled to become effective Jan. 1. The case is Associated Oregon Industries and Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Brad Avakian and Laborers’ International Union of North America, Local No. 296.

"Some employers seem to be threatened by the idea that they will no longer be able to fire or punish workers who don't want to sit down and listen to their opinions on non-work-related topics," said Tom Chamberlain, Oregon AFL-CIO president, in a statement. "But for too many years, Oregonians have felt threatened by their bosses telling them how to vote or what to believe. (The measure) is necessary, overwhelmingly supported by Oregonians, and legal."

Oregon is the first state in the nation to pass such a law, which is based on model legislation drafted by the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO has introduced similar laws in numerous other states.

(from bizjournals.com)

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